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Argumente in favoarea eutanasiei si sinuciderii asistate:

Este o modalitate de a opri suferinta extrema prin care trec unii bonavi in stadiu terminal si de
a le oferi o moarte linistita. De obicei o moarte buna este descrisa ca trecerea in nefiinta intr-un
mediu placut, familiar si fara suferinta, ca si cum ai adormi. Cicero spunea ca o moarte buna este
modalitatea ideala de a respecta legea naturii, parasind lumea in liniste si demnitate.
Oamenii ar trebui sa aiba dreptul sa decida momentul propriei morti. In secolul al XVIII-lea,
filozoful scotian David Hume sustinea in eseul sau Despre sinucidere ca, intr-o societate libera,
oamenii ar trebui sa aiba dreptul sa aleaga modul in care vor sa moara. Unele voci sustin si ca acest
drept ar trebui totusi temperat prin obligatia de a nu face rau altei persoane.
Mentinerea in viata a unei persoane, mai mult decat durata naturala de viata (de exemplu prin
conectarea la aparate), nu este morala;
Oamenilor ar trebui sa li se permita sa moara cu demnitate. Exista mari diferente intre
modurile in care fiecare vede conceptul de a trai si a muri in demnitate. Cele mai comune umilinte
care ar justifica eutanasia sunt: persoana devine o povara pentru ceilalti, incapacitatea de a mai face
fata activitatilor cotidiene, petrecerea ultimei perioade a vietii intr-un spital sau camin,
Rudele bolnavului nu ar mai trebui sa indure clipele dificile in care isi vad apropiatii asteptand
o moarte lenta si dureroasa;
S-ar reduce costurile pentru ingrijirea pacientilor incurabili;
eutanasia si sinuciderea asistata se practica oricum in camine si spitale, iar medicii, membrii
familiei sau apropiatii care accepta sa faca asta pot fi acuzati de crima.
Argumentele impotriva sinuciderii asistate si eutanasiei se bazeaza, de obicei, pe principiile etice si
religioase cu privire la sacralitatea vietii. De asemenea, sunt voci care sustin ca legalizarea eutanasiei
ar putea grabi moartea unor persoane, impotriva vointei lor.
Sacralitatea vietii. Acest argument se bazeaza pe valorile religioase care considera viata sacra
si inviolabila. Conform acestui principiu, nici o persoana nu are dreptul de a lua viata altcuiva.
Diagnosticul gresit sau eventualitatea unor noi tratamente. Conform acestui punct de vedere,
unde exista viata exista speranta. Sustinatorii sai sunt de parere ca in conditiile evolutiei rapide a
societatii moderne, a tehnologiei si tehnicilor medicale, eutanasia ar lua dreptul unor persoane
bolnave de a beneficia de viitoarele tratamente si implicit de o viata mai buna.
Legalizarea eutanasiei in cazurile medicale grave ar face din aceasta practica o rutina, folosita
pe scara larga.
Chiar daca cineva isi doreste sa fie eutanasiat, aceasta dorinta ar putea fi rezultatul depresiei
sau a interpretarii eronate a diagnosticului.
Eutanasia ar submina finantarea sectorului geriatric si furnizarea de asistenta corespunzatoare
pentru persoanele varstnice.
Ar submina de asemenea activitatile de cercetare in aceasta zona.
Ar compromite in mod grav relatiile dintre persoanele in varsta, sau dependente de asistenta,
si rudele lor, care ar putea sa le preseze sa nu devina o povara.
Ar compromite relatia de incredere dintre medic si pacient.
Orice forma de sinucidere este greu de suportat pentru persoanele apropiate care raman in
viata; o astfel de decizie ar afecta in special copiii din viata bolnavului.

In April 2002, the Netherlands became the first country to legalise euthanasia
and assisted suicide. It imposed a strict set of conditions: the patient must be
suffering unbearable pain, their illness must be incurable, and the demand
must be made in "full consciousness" by the patient. In 2010, 3,136 people
were given a lethal cocktail under medical supervision.
So-called palliative sedation has also become a widespread practice in
hospitals, with 15,000 cases a year since 2005, according to the Royal Dutch
Medical Association. Patients with a life expectancy of two weeks or less are
put in a medically induced coma, and all nutrition and hydration is
The legislation has provoked a fierce debate over the "right to suicide,"
because assisted suicide outside of the criteria set for euthanasia is still illegal
and is counted as homicide.
"Around 10% to 15% of the people who come to us looking for information
actually commit suicide", says Ton Vink, head De Einder (Horizon), a
foundation that advises people contemplating suicide. To avoid prosecution,
he never provides the medicine himself and is not around when somebody
takes it. "Most of the people who contact us feel reassured by the information
we provide and do not take their life away," he says. Sabine Cessou

Euthanasia and assisted suicide are against the law. The president, Franois
Hollande, promised to look at the "right to die with dignity" but has has
always denied any intention of legalising euthanasia or assisted suicide.
In 2005 the Lonetti law introduced the concept of the right to be "left to die".
Under strict conditions it allowed doctors to decide to "limit or stop any
treatment that is not useful, is disproportionate or has no other object than to
artificially prolong life" and to use pain-killing drugs that might "as a side
effect, shorten life".

Two recent high-profile cases have made the headlines: a doctor accused of
administering drugs that hastened the deaths of seven elderly patients was
acquitted, and France's high court authorised doctors to stop treating and
feeding a young man who had been in a vegetative state on life support for six
years. In the latter case, the patient's parents have appealed to the European
court of human rights and are awaiting a decision. A parliamentary report on
the subject is expected at the end of this year. Kim Willsher in Paris

United States
Doctors are allowed to prescribe lethal doses of medicine to terminally ill
patients in five US states. Euthanasia, however, is illegal. In recent years, the
"aid in dying" movement has made incremental gains, but the issue remains
Oregon was the first US state to legalise assisted suicide. The law took effect in
1997, and allows for terminally ill, mentally competent patients with less than
six months to live to request a prescription for life-ending medication. More
than a decade later, Washington state approved a measure that was modelled
on Oregon's law. And last year, the Vermont legislature passed a similar law.
Court decisions rendered the practice legal in Montana and, most recently, in
New Mexico.
In 2013, roughly 300 terminally ill Americans were prescribed lethal
medications, and around 230 people died as a result of taking them. Some
patients choose not to take the medication. Lauren Gambino in New York

Germany and Switzerland

In German-speaking countries, the term "euthanasia" is generally avoided
because of its association with the eugenicist policies of the Nazi era. The law
therefore tends to distinguish between assisted suicide (beihilfe zum suizid)
and "active assisted suicide" (aktive sterbehilfe).

In Germany and Switzerland, active assisted suicide ie a doctor prescribing

and handing over a lethal drug is illegal. But German and Swiss law does
allow assisted suicide within certain circumstances. In Germany, assisted
suicide is legal as long as the lethal drug is taken without any help, such as
someone guiding or supporting the patient's hand. In Switzerland, the law is
more relaxed: it allows assisted suicide as long as there are no "self-seeking
motives" involved. Switzerland has tolerated the creation of organisations
such as Dignitas and Exit, which provide assisted dying services for a fee.
In a recent survey, two-thirds of Germans said they would support a law that
enabled active assisted suicide too. But the government has announced it
wants to tighten the law around assisted suicide, with the health minister,
Hermann Grhe, stating that he wants to ban organisations like Dignitas
in Germany. Philip Oltermann in Berlin

Belgium passed a law in 2002 legalising euthanasia, becoming the second
country in the world to do so. The law says doctors can help patients to end
their lives when they freely express a wish to die because they are suffering
intractable and unbearable pain. Patients can also receive euthanasia if they
have clearly stated it before entering a coma or similar vegetative state.
Assisted suicide is not mentioned in the law, which does not specify a method
of euthanasia. As Jacqueline Herremans, president of the Association for the
Right to Die with Dignity, says: "We don't make a distinction in the
semantics." However, the physician has to be present at the bedside of the
patient to their last breath, unlike the Oregon model where the doctor gives
only the prescription of drugs.
Belgian euthanasia cases rose to 1,807 in 2013, compared with 1,432 in 2012,
708 in 2008 and 235 in 2003. Just over half of cases last year were aged 70 or
over, and 80% of the applications were made by Dutch-speakers.

High-profile euthanasia cases have included a 44-year-old transsexual woman

whose botched sex-change operation left her with physical deformities that
she felt made her look like a "monster"; and 45-year-old identical twins who
were deaf and going blind and believed they had nothing left to live for.
This February, Belgium became the first country to legalise euthanasia for
children. There is no age limit for minors seeking a lethal injection, but they
must be conscious of their decision, terminally ill, close to death and suffering
beyond any medical help. They also need the assent of their parents to end
their lives. So far, no such cases have yet been reported to authorities. Leo
Cendrowicz in Brussels

PRO: "The right of a competent, terminally ill person to avoid excruciating pain and embrace a timely and
dignified death bears the sanction of history and is implicit in the concept of ordered liberty. The exercise
of this right is as central to personal autonomy and bodily integrity as rights safeguarded by this Court's
decisions relating to marriage, family relationships, procreation, contraception, child rearing and the
refusal or termination of life-saving medical treatment. In particular, this Court's recent decisions
concerning the right to refuse medical treatment and the right to abortion instruct that a mentally
competent, terminally ill person has a protected liberty interest in choosing to end intolerable suffering by
bringing about his or her own death.
A state's categorical ban on physician assistance to suicide -- as applied to competent, terminally ill
patients who wish to avoid unendurable pain and hasten inevitable death -- substantially interferes with
this protected liberty interest and cannot be sustained."

PRO: "At the Hemlock Society we get calls daily from desperate people who are looking for someone like
Jack Kevorkian to end their lives which have lost all quality... Americans should enjoy a right guaranteed
in the European Declaration of Human Rights -- the right not to be forced to suffer. It should be
considered as much of a crime to make someone live who with justification does not wish to continue as it
is to take life without consent."
PRO: "Especially with regard to taking life, slippery slope arguments have long been a feature of the
ethical landscape, used to question the moral permissibility of all kinds of acts... The situation is not unlike
that of a doomsday cult that predicts time and again the end of the world, only for followers to discover the
next day that things are pretty much as they were...
We need the evidence that shows that horrible slope consequences are likely to occur. The mere
possibility that such consequences might occur, as noted earlier, does not constitute such evidence."
PRO: "Over time the Hippocratic Oath has been modified on a number of occasions as some of its tenets
became less and less acceptable. References to women not studying medicine and doctors not breaking
the skin have been deleted. The much-quoted reference to 'do no harm' is also in need of explanation.
Does not doing harm mean that we should prolong a life that the patient sees as a painful burden? Surely,
the 'harm' in this instance is done when we prolong the life, and 'doing no harm' means that we should

help the patient die. Killing the patient--technically, yes. Is it a good thing--sometimes, yes. Is it consistent
with good medical end-of-life care: absolutely yes."
PRO: "We'll all die. But in an age of increased longevity and medical advances, death can be suspended,
sometimes indefinitely, and no longer slips in according to its own immutable timetable.
So, for both patients and their loved ones, real decisions are demanded: When do we stop doing all that
we can do? When do we withhold which therapies and allow nature to take its course? When are we,
through our own indecision and fears of mortality, allowing wondrous medical methods to perversely
prolong the dying rather than the living?
These intensely personal and socially expensive decisions should not be left to governments, judges or
legislators better attuned to highway funding."
PRO: "Assisting death in no way precludes giving the best palliative care possible but rather integrates
compassionate care and respect for the patient's autonomy and ultimately makes death with dignity a real
The evidence for the emotional impact of assisted dying on physicians shows that euthanasia and
assisted suicide are a far cry from being 'easier options for the caregiver' than palliative care, as some
critics of Dutch practice have suggested. We wish to take a strong stand against the separation and
opposition between euthanasia and assisted suicide, on the one hand, and palliative care, on the other,
that such critics have implied. There is no 'either-or' with respect to these options. Every appropriate
palliative option available must be discussed with the patient and, if reasonable, tried before a request for
assisted death can be accepted...
Opposing euthanasia to palliative care... neither reflects the Dutch reality that palliative medicine is
incorporated within end-of-life care nor the place of the option of assisted death at the request of a patient
within the overall spectrum of end-of-life care."

PRO: "Even though the various elements that make up the American healthcare system are becoming
more circumspect in ensuring that money is not wasted, the cap that marks a zero-sum healthcare
system is largely absent in the United States... Considering the way we finance healthcare in the United
States, it would be hard to make a case that there is a financial imperative compelling us to adopt
physician-assisted suicide in an effort to save money so that others could benefit..."